Daniel Northern believes Glasgow Rocks have overcome their inconsistencies, just in time to scoop some silverware in front of their home fans.
Rocks go head-to-head with Worcester Wolves in the BBL Trophy Final on their home floor at Emirates Arena, on Sunday – thanks in no small part to Northern’s impressive semi-final second leg performance against Cheshire Phoenix.
The frontcourt force had a first-half double-double on his way to 29 points and 21 rebounds, as the Scottish side overturned a six-point deficit from the first leg to advance.
Such successes have been the exception rather than the rule for Rocks this season however.
“It has been very frustrating to have a team this talented, that couldn’t finish,” said Northern, who has been a bright spot in a Rocks team that currently sits two places outside the BBL play-offs.
“But I honestly and truly believe those incomplete games are behind us.
“Passion and belief will be the biggest factors.”
Northern is the first to admit that Glasgow have not reached their potential this term, with an inability to sustain their high level of play for an entire game the chief concern.
But the 28-year-old feels their semi-final triumph could be the catalyst for consistency.
“Since the beginning of the year we have struggled to play a complete game,” Northern added.
“We have always tried to hype each other up about playing for 40 minutes instead of 30.
“But we haven’t. Even with the games we were winning, we weren’t playing the same or better throughout the entire game. That showed in the first leg against Cheshire, which we were all too familiar with by blowing the lead.
“But we changed it in the second leg.
“So, even if we lose, I hope the Rocks, including myself, will play complete games every night out through the rest of the season.”
The same patterns of performance do not apply to Wolves.
Paul James’s Worcester side have demonstrated the ability to grind out wins from unlikely positions, one of the reasons they sit second in the table and why Rocks must be wary, even if they find themselves in front in the final period.
“Worcester are a great team, and no matter how they start the game, they always finish playing their best basketball, and that has equated to a lot of come-from-behind wins, or blowouts against teams they were already ahead of,” observes Northern.
“With that being said, I think this game will be won in the fourth quarter.
“We can’t get comfortable when we a have a lead, no matter the size of it.
“We just have to keep pressing on the gas, because they won’t slow down or give up.”
Tickets for Sunday’s Final are available from the Ticket Factory priced at £15 adults / £10 children using the promo code ‘Rocks1’.